Summary: Exposition of Acts 1:6-11 about God preparing the disciples for the explosion of the early church
Text: Acts 1:6-11, Title: Preparation for Explosion II, Date/Place: NRBC, 4/22/07, AM
A. Opening illustration: Liken God to preparing for a big party or event, maybe talk about the preparation for Mackenzie’s party
B. Background to passage: After Luke’s introduction, in verse 6 he transitions to the last scene in the NT with Jesus before the ascension. Again, God is still preparing and getting the last few things in place from a cosmic standpoint to launch the early church.
C. Main thought: In our text today we will glean three things from the final interactions between the disciples and the resurrected Jesus.
A. A Proper Focus (v. 6-7)
1. The disciples were displaying their lack of full understanding of the Kingdom teaching that Jesus had just spent 40 days instructing them about. They were operating in a rabbinic/OT mindset looking for the establishment of a political theocracy, throwing off the bondage of pagan nations. It’s possible that the thought was still in their heads of being the CEOs of this political kingdom alongside Jesus. Issues of control, biblical interpretation, and political confusion about what kinds of things are coming next on the calendar of God. Explain about the OT’s lack of differentiation between the coming of the Messiah, and the restoration of the Kingdom of God. Notice also that there were no harsh rebukes, just mild, but major corrections. But Jesus tells them that God is “in the know” and that is good enough. He says be satisfied that God knows the future and you know God. But He is under no obligation to share all details with us.
3. Illustration: illustration of the conflict between WMU and WEM, having that experience floating on a raft just off of the beach and waking up a quarter of a mile down the beach—need a marker,
4. There are so many issues that we get sidetracked in—personal aspirations, denominational politics, social and legislative agendas, moral and ethical platforms. But we need to keep our focus where it needs to be. We must live in “the now”, not in the future nor in the past. We need to fix our eyes upon Jesus. Don’t become overly preoccupied with the future, become preoccupied with Jesus. We need to realize that his purposes and agenda are the most important to us. We have need of markers that let us know when we are too far off base. We all have a tendency to settle in, be comfortable and allow our spiritual eyes to grow accustomed to what we see. Pam talking about starting a SS class at the flea market. But what about a worship service? We must remember that this kingdom is a spiritual kingdom, therefore we must have spiritual resources, and our focus must be on things like maturity in Christ, salvation of souls, and being in a living, growing, transforming relationship with Christ. Keep the main thing, the main thing.
B. A Pressing Mission (v. 8)
1. This is the most important verse of the first chapter. Jesus telling them their mission. This is a revised and restated version of the great commission. Jesus points them to the grandness of their mission: to now go out to proclaim the glories of the gospel of Christ and the forgiveness of sin. They are to be martyrus, witnesses. This is an outline for the rest of the book, because they begin to do this. And the promise of the Spirit is reiterated here. And Jesus links it to the ability and capability to performing what He has commanded.
3. Illustration: This big but contrite man then cried out with a loud voice, "I’m a lost sinner and I need the Lord. Won’t somebody tell me how to be saved?" He turned to this Christian gentleman and pleaded, "Can you show me how to find the Lord?" The believer immediately bowed his head and prayed, "Lord, is this a sign?" "The work of evangelism is never complete until the one evangelized becomes an evangelizer." tell about the astonishment on the lady at the conference about Maine’s spiritual darkness, 95% of Southern Baptists will never lead another person to faith in Christ, 10% of our churches baptize nobody in a year,
4. This is not only the mission of the twelve, but it is the great mission statement of the church today. It is the job of every Christian to be endued with power from the Spirit and to be a witness. Being a witness only involves telling what you know or saw. Paul always wrote, “reminding” his readers of things, and we must be constantly reminded of the incompleteness of the commission. The Great Commission will only be completed effectively by those of you who walk in the power of the Spirit. Next week we will linger a while longer about the furtherance of the gospel in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the Uttermost Parts of the Earth. Is this the mission of your life?